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S. lebethron n. “Gondorian hardwood, *(lit.) finger tree” (Category: Tree (other))

S. lebethron, n. “Gondorian hardwood, *(lit.) finger tree” (Category: Tree (other))

A species of Gondorian hardwood (LotR/694).

Possible Etymology: In notes on Words, Phrases and Passages from the Lord of the Rings from the late 1950s or early 1960s (PE17/89), Tolkien said that the final element -ron was a variant of orn “tree”. However, in an undated note probably from the late 1960s (also PE17/89), Tolkien said this word was originally †lebethorn, but became lebethron under the influence of S. ron “smooth by polishing” < *runda, but Tolkien then deleted the adjective ron. Tolkien said the initial element was related to Q. lepse [finger] in the earlier note, but in the late 1960s note said it was related to Q. lepetta, the Quenya word for the tree, so called “probably because its leaves (like chestnut) [were] shaped like a fingered hand”.

Conceptual Development: In Lord of the Rings drafts of the 1940s, Tolkien wrote ᴹQ. {melinon >> lebendron >>} lebethras when he first mentioned this tree (WR/176).

References ✧ LotR/694; LotRI/Lebethron; PE17/89, 103; SDI1/lebethron; WR/180; WRI





leber “finger”
orn “(tall straight) tree”



Phonetic Developments

lepeth-ron > lebethron [lepettaoroni] ? [lepettaroni] > [lepettarone] > [lepettʰarone] > [lepeθθarone] > [lepeθθaron] > [lebeθθaron] > [lebeθθron] > [lebeθron] ✧ PE17/89

N. lebethras n. “Gondorian tree” (Category: Tree (other))

See S. lebethron for discussion.

References ✧ WR/176; WRI/lebethron